By the Anti-Jihadist
An essential question that everyone, Muslims included, should ask is this—why are Muslims among the worst performing groups (nations, societies, etc) anywhere on the planet? Name any area of achievement, any field of human endeavour—patents filed, literacy, quality of life, degree of civil or political freedoms, transparency, world-class universities, and so on. In every case, the nations of Islam are at or near the bottom in every category, and only barely beat sub-Saharan Africa in overall performance. How has this dreadful state of affairs come to pass?
The answer is simple—Muslims are intellectually paralyzed by their own philosophy.
In matters of the intellect, Muslims are a miserable failure. It isn’t because their genes are so different from everybody else’s. It’s because their philosophy (a.k.a. Islam) has sucked their minds dry from infancy onwards. In this respect, it is the best in human history, as no other philosophy has been so successful at institutionalizing failure among its followers. This onerous process begins at birth, when it is the tradition in many Islamic countries for the father to recite the Shahada (the Muslim declaration of belief) in the newborn’s ear. It’s all downhill from there.
To analyse philosophical differences effectively, one must first know the difference between the different branches of philosophy. Philosophy has five major branches, listed and generally defined as follows:
Epistemology—the methods that knowledge is found or made valid
Ethics—the cultural standards of good or ‘right’ behaviour
Politics—the application of ethics to social behaviour
Metaphysics—concerned with explaining the ultimate nature of reality, and lastly,
Aesthetics (to be explained below)
In a nutshell, here are the differences between Islamic philosophy and the Judeo-Christian (a.k.a. Western) one:
Western epistemology = reason and the scientific method
Islamic epistemology = “revelation”, or whatever Allah sees fit to reveal
Western ethics = the sanctity of human life
Islamic ethics = the spread of Islam by any means whatsoever
Western politics = recognition of individual rights
Islamic politics = submission and totalitarianism
Western metaphysics = the universe, and all of existence, follows natural law
Islamic metaphysics = every event at every moment is controlled by Allah’s whim
Note on Muslim metaphysics: The expression “if Allah wills (it)” or “insh’allah” that you hear so often among Muslims is not a mere social convention or sign of respect for Allah—it is the craven fear of someone who thinks he has no control over his own destiny.
The last philosophical branch, aesthetics, needs a brief explanation.
Art, in all forms, is the selective recreation of reality according to the artist’s metaphysical values. The values are communicated non-verbally, of course, but very effectively. Just look at “The Scream” by Edvard Munch—everyone has had days like that! Or contemplate the sculptures of ancient Greece, where the human form was often portrayed as graceful, beautiful, and even triumphant.
Art is heavily censored in totalitarian societies, for fear that the artist’s values will conflict with the governing power’s values. In the Soviet Union, for example, only the glory of the collective, the group, and the state was permitted to be portrayed. It could be portrayed in many ways, but the subject matter was limited pretty much to glorification of the state. Many Soviet artists were jailed for art that deviated from that restrictive policy.
In Islam, the censorship is even more severe, and reflects the way they value, or rather, “disvalue” life, particularly human life. Except for plants, lifeforms are forbidden in Islamic art. Yes, there are some places here and there where “life” has sneaked in under the tent flap and is seen, but wherever the “purest” kind of Islam is practiced, it is never seen.
Islam makes the excuse that “only Allah can create life, and that achievement cannot be attempted by mere human artists.” The *real* reason is that Islam does not value life, especially human life, and it is terrified that some artist, somewhere, might try to smuggle in, via his art, some value forbidden in Islam.
In the West, the artist is free to project into his work anything he values, whether anyone thinks it makes sense or not. But “life” is highly valued by most Western artists, and it is a very popular subject of artistic work, in profound contrast with Islamic art.
That Muslims have a fine sense of what is beautiful is evident, despite the crushing limitations placed on them. If they but had the freedoms of thought and self-expression, which would require them to drop the shackles of Islam from their minds, then there is no doubt that they could excel in every branch of human achievement.
No one can say that Muslims are stupid. It's just that their minds have been destroyed under the continuous, unrelenting assault of a viciously anti-human philosophy.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
By the Anti-Jihadist